Monday, October 17, 2005

~ : A N N I V E R S A R Y : ~

Our Three-Year Anniversary was this past weekend! Did a lot of celebrating. Eating out, cooking and Doug had some surprises up his sleeve. I woke up the morning of to this little note on the coffee maker. He'd already loaded it and all I had to do was press start. Doug got up early at 4AM just to write these two love letters - one from him and one from Bjorn. He also framed a couple of photos of the two of them for me to use in my studio. Aren't they sweet?We decided not to buy any gifts for each other this year. Instead we cooked and spent our pennies on a very fancy dinner out at Toni's Casa Napoli in Dunwoody. One of our favorite restaurants, it's been there for over 10 years and is cozy, the wait staff practically massage your shoulders before and after your meal...

On our way to the restaurant, Doug booked a surprise massage session for the both of us at The Atlanta School of Massage, also in Dunwoody. OH MY GOD, it was incredible. I had my therapist work on my neck, back, shoulders and jaw. Incredible. I feel like he actually did something and that the session was about actual healing rather than fluff and pampering. So Doug and I were quite relaxed and ready for our dinner. And I was able to open my jaw wider than in inch in months. Amazing! This place was so great. My therapist, MJ, was an instructor there and showed me muscle maps of the body, demonstrating which muscles needed work and showed me exercises I could do for myself to keep everything from getting tight. We will definitely go back there.

To top the weekend off, I made chocolate mousse for the first time in these cute green vintage depression glass goblets. We got a lovely set of them from a friend who collects them as a wedding gift three years ago. Making the mousse was easier than I had anticipated. It took maybe 20 minutes to prepare. Really good timing for me. I'm a neat freak when it comes to cooking and hate making messes. I spend more time cleaning up stages of prep than I do actual stirring! ANYway, it was delicious in the end.

I married Doug knowing that he had the skills to and was willing to develop more sills for making a marriage work. That reason alone has helped us get through all the listening, negotiating and hard work it takes to effectively communicate. He's just not afraid to work hard. His sense of adventure and fun has helped me retain my sense of humor in tough times and his gentleness has comforted me when I deeply needed to be nurtured. When I thank him for any of these gifts, his response is always, " It's part of my job description as the person who loves Anne."

To any single women reading this post - the mate meant for you is the one whose goodness and work ethic is worth rearranging your single life for.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

~: P A P I L L O N S :~
Ever since we got Bjorn, our 5.5 lb. Papillon, we've taken him to Papillon Play Days. If ever there was a need to feel good, these play days would do the trick nicely. I've never really liked small dogs, never really liked dogs in general, until we got Bjorn. He's sweet-smelling, sweet-tempered, and can get dicey at times, which keeps things interesting. I love him. And so does my husband, who was just as surprised as I was to love such a small creature.

The first Pap play day was a blast. A real eye-opener. You sit down and chat with all the other pap owners and all of a sudden you're surrounded by more paps who find some kind of nook in your lap and settle in. They all have the same cheery attitude - all smiling. Half the dogs are playing tag with each other and the other half have found laps. It's a giant love-fest.

We went to our most recent Pap Play Day a couple of weekends ago. If you'd like to see all of the fun photos we took of Bjorn and his friends, I've posted them here. All you see once you're there are white tails that blur the landscape - wagging gracefully with happy expectation. And for a few hours, all that is good about this world is in your lap.

Monday, October 10, 2005

~: U T E R U S with W I T :~
Hey! I finished my womb! Here are a couple of shots of my creation. It pretty much speaks for itself. I'm not as angry as I was before - maybe the knitting helped? Many thanks to and to MK Carroll, the designer of this pattern. This has been great cathartic fun. Maybe I should knit a penis next.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

~ :F E R T I L I T Y: ~
Here's something productive I can do in spite of fertility woes. I love to knit and feel I need to do some therapeutic work for the soul. I found this pattern for a womb on Wonderful site with great ideas, wit and charm. I think I want to make one for my OBGYN. The only handmade charm in that office are the crocheted stirrup covers to keep your feet warm. Time for something warmer and funnier, no!? I have almost completed my knitty womb and am very excited. I promise to post the finished product here when completed.

Monday, October 03, 2005

~ : S E X : ~
This is what sex looks like when you're trying to make a baby. ARRRRRRRGGGGG. Appealing, isn't it? You know what I absolutely hate? I hate it that it's easier to find a book on how to MAKE a baby than it is to find one on how to lose one. Makes me ill. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG. Not that I don't think that growling will make me more fertile, but making the noise, typing the letters and telling you how frustrated I am with my body helps. A little. Okay, a LOT. Doug and I are on our second cycle of Clomid and let me tell you, it's like being high. It'd be great if I liked being high, but since I'd rather be in control, it's infuriating. I think the most frustrating part is how ferociously it manipulates your hormones. One minute I'm crying tears of joy at the smallest thing and the next my life is coming to an end. It's THAT dramatic. I should probably stop right now and give my sweet husband a hug, because he's been incredible during this time.

Not having control over my own body - over the most elemental thing like being a woman and creating life makes me feel so powerless. Less than. O L D. I am not a person who fails. As an over-acheiving creative, it has been humiliating to fail. Heartbreaking to discover and redsicover failure every month. Hard to interpret the slightest odd sensation or upset stomache with hope. A little bit pregnant, maybe? The weird thing is, all the hope I lose at the end of my cycle, is rekindled again at the start of the next one.

But back to the raw stuff...
What's even more painful is to hear people say to a woman who has miscarried, "Well, at least you know you CAN get pregnant." ARRRRG. You stupid bitch. Don't you know that getting a baby, then losing a baby are two completely different things? Am I supposed to be satisfied or comforted by your blithe assessments? You think you've got it all figured out and fix it for me? Here's a big hint. YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE. Would you say to a father who lost a son, "Well, at least you HAD a child." No way! Would you say to a mother who lost a child, "Well, at least you HAD a child." Having and losing require different parts of yourself to fully process. And to appreciate. They are two entirely different places to be. And I think that LOSS deserves just as much pause, love, attention and reverent respect as ACHIEVEMENT does. I am going to go away and be angry for a while.

I am just weary of the ups and downs, though. All this pain just takes me away from my life. Takes me away from being present. To loving what I have. Taking care of my life. Feeling pleasure. Creating goodness. I spent one evening last month telling myself I didn't belong in this darkness. Not this darkness. It's not me and I don't wanna be there.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

~: C O F F E E :~
This morning I woke up to a broken coffee maker. God help me. Doug has tried to fix it. I am going mad. U P D A T E: Doug fixed it!!! Woo hoo!!!! Life is good again.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

~ : D R E A M I N G : ~
I had a wonderful dream last night. I woke up sunny. The night before, Doug and I watched an episode of Six Feet Under, where this Harley biker guy playing santa was killed on his bike while waving to children on the street. He smashed into an oncoming truck. Santa was late that year. It was sad.

But his funeral was fantastic. All his friends were there, dancing, singing, crying, remembering him. All were so unashamed to show love. They stayed up all night on Christmas Eve, partied hard. At one point, the widow and Nate have a conversation about death and loss and life. He asks her if she'd rather have a husband who was more careful. She replies no. If he had been the careful sort, he would have been a different person - not as fully living in the moment as he was. Even if his carefree attitude was the end of him, his life was lived as it was meant to be lived. A fully-lived life.

All I could think about was Tommy. His fully-lived-in life. Though brief, I have to respect how he chose to live his life. He was fearless, reckless, wickedly funny. And extremely generous. Though he created conflict in our family, I am still greatful for the things I've learned from him. He was just like one of those Harley bikers. Born to be wild. These days, I can't have an epiphany without thinking of what he'd say about it. I can't be really depressed without thinking of his depression. I think of him a lot.

So the dream I had was in response to all my thoughts about him. Doug and I were walking arm in arm sharing the same rhythm, walking towards Portfolio Center where I teach. We were walking to the song Born To Be Wild. And that song reminds me of Tommy. It was an essential part of his music collection. Along with The Allman Brothers, Santana, Elton John, Heart, Stevie Ray Vaughn. Any whiff of the 70's I get snaps me right back to him.

In my dream, before Doug and I got the school,
we were at a train station, embraced in a hug,
and I remarked how quiet it was -
how the whipping and violent wind was gone
and that everything was so peacful.